In time trials, competitors race against the clock to record the fastest time.
In this all-out race, a cyclist is said to have "hit the wall" when
his or her legs can no longer pedal at a rapid pace.
Match sprints are three laps, with riders
seeded on the basis of a 200-meter time trial.
In pursuit races, two cyclists or teams of
cyclists start off on opposite sides of the
track. If one cyclist, or team, catches the
other, the race is over. Otherwise, the winner
is the first one to cross the finish line.
Points races can be the most fun to watch but
are among the most difficult to understand.
The cyclist who has the most points usually
wins; however, a rider can also win if he "laps
the field" (goes ahead of everyone else
by a lap) and maintains his advantage throughout
the race regardless of his total points.
Road races are mass start events that take
place on public roads. Endurance is the main
factor in road racing. Riding in the "slipstream," the
current of air created by the leader, decreases
wind resistance and can cut a cyclist's effort
by as much as 20 percent. This is also called "drafting" and
can be utilized in all cycling events.
Mountain bike racing features an off-road
course and a downhill event.
and Fast Facts
General Sports Links
Olympians will compete in dozens of sports this summer. Even though Gateway
to the Summer Games can't feature them all, you can learn about each and
every one by visiting the sites listed below.